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The Headset Conundrum

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The Headset Conundrum

Old 10-03-11, 07:33 AM
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RT
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The Headset Conundrum

The headset is the last part of a bike to be tackled in my self-education. I have built many bikes, converted some, but the frame always had a pre-installed headset. Having built a solid headset press out of allthread, washers and nuts, I set out to press the cups into the headtube. And then, trouble.

A 1 1/8" threadless setup quickly turned into a...mystery. I thought it was as simple as matching steerer tube diameter, but when testing the cups in the head tube, I discovered they are too small by a significant margin. I measured the inside diameter of the headtube and came out at 1 5/8" - half an inch in difference. The headtube on the 2007 GT Legato frame looks just like all of my other 1 1/8" bikes, so I am obviously missing something. All of the parts for the headset are accounted for, but since the cups are so much smaller, there's nothing to 'press': It just sort of sits in the headtube looking stupid, like the person installing it.

I know there are standard, integrated and 'Aheadsets', so I'm off to read what I can find, but I am not finding what I need on the Googlenet. Any help from this crowd would be much appreciated.
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Old 10-03-11, 09:14 AM
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You undoubtedly have one flavor or another of an "integrated" headsets and, unfotunately, there are a lot of incompatible "standards". A Google search on your bike came up with a BikePedia listing saying it has a "1 1/8" threadless TH Intellaset" headset so that is one form of integrated. TH Indistries makes most, if not all, of FSA's headsets so I assume it uses one of their configurations.

I recommend you take the frame to a competent LBS and try to match it with the correct headset. If it is really an integrated headset, you won't need your cup press, just a crown race setter, and possibly not even that. Some FSA headsets come with "split" crown races that install with just finger pressure.
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Old 10-03-11, 10:21 AM
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Thanks. I am learning now about the SHIS part of the equation. The headtube is straight bore, no taper. I guess my best bet is to take it to the LBS. From what I have read, Integrated wears faster than a typical headset. Just want to have a place to securely place my steerer tube.
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Old 10-03-11, 11:10 AM
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Originally Posted by RTDub View Post
Thanks. I am learning now about the SHIS part of the equation. The headtube is straight bore, no taper. I guess my best bet is to take it to the LBS.
If there are no flared bearing seats at each end of the headtube I don't know what to make of it. Are you certain you bought a 1-1/8" headset, not a 1" headset? A 1" headset would be obviously too small to press into a 1-1/8" headtube.

Originally Posted by RTDub View Post
From what I have read, Integrated wears faster than a typical headset. Just want to have a place to securely place my steerer tube.
That's not correct. The sealed bearings in an integrated headset last every bit as long as those in a "conventional" headset and are replaced just as easily. Also, any wear occurs to the bearings themselves, not to their cups or the recesses in the frame.
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Old 10-03-11, 11:28 AM
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Since it's a straight bore we can rule out an integrated headset.

It's possible that your bike used reducer inserts at both ends of the head tube, or possibly took a 1-1/2" headset of the type used on DH bikes. Refer to Sheldon Brown's cribsheet here and see if any possibilities make sense to you.
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Old 10-03-11, 12:55 PM
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It is one of the Nashbar GT Legato frames.

From chrisking.com re: integrated headsets.

Live and learn. It is a basic frame, so I'm sure nothing fancy, but will check at the LBS.
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Old 10-04-11, 12:50 PM
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The answer turned out to be: The FSA Intelliset. There is no alternative, and at $60 a pop, not going to sink that money into it. Frames going back to Nashbar.
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